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INTRODUCTION

Activities:

Anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, analgesic, DNA-protective1

Important Chemical Components:

Polyphenols, including quercetin-3-O-β-D-glucoside, luteo-lin-7-O-β-D-glucoside, luteo-lin-3’-O-β-D-glucoside, luteo-lin-4’-O-β-D-glucoside, apig-enin-7-O-β-D-glucoside, 6-hydroxy-luteolin-7-O-β-D-glucoside, luteo-lin-7,4’-di-O-β-D-glucoside, chrysoeriol-7-O-β-D-glucoside, leontopodic acid and 3,5-dicaffeolyquinic acid; sesquiterpenes, such as isocomene, 14-acetoxy-isocomene, silphiperfolene acetate, silphinene, and bisabolane derivatives2; lignans, including leoligin [(2S,3R,4R)-4-(3,4-dimethoxybenzyl)-2-(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)tetrahydrofuran-3-yl]methyl (2Z)-2-methylbut-2-enoat;β-sitosterol; coumarins; benzofurans3,4

Origin Classification:

This ingredient is natural. Organic forms exist.

Personal Care Category:

Anti-inflammatory, skin protective, conditioning

Recommended for the following Baumann Skin Types:

DSNT, DSPT, DSNW, DSPW, OSNT, OSPT, OSNW, and OSPW

SOURCE

Leontopodium alpinum, better known as edelweiss (German for “noble whiteness” and understood as “noble purity”; the scientific name “leontopodium” is a Latin adaptation of the Greek leontopódion for “lion’s paw”), is a European mountain flower found in the Alps, Pyrenees, and Carpathians, as well as the Balkan Peninsula.5 Edelweiss is a member of the sunflower (Asteraceae, or less commonly known as Compositae) family long used ornamentally and honored symbolically in national currency, badges, song (perhaps most famously in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music), and other forms of national pride, including as the national flower of Switzerland.5 Of medical interest, the plant has been used in traditional alpine folk medicine to treat abdominal disorders, angina, bronchitis, cancer, colitis, diarrhea, dysentery, fever, rheumatoid arthritis, and tonsillitis (Table 72-1).2,6,7

TABLE 72-1Pros and Cons of Edelweiss

HISTORY

Folk medicine uses of edelweiss were founded on the anti-inflammatory qualities of the herb.1,7,8 Diarrhea and dysentery were listed as indications in 1582, as was breast cancer, which was treated with a compress infused with the boiled extract.1,5,6 The use of L. alpinum in Polish traditional medicine to treat tumors was reported in the 1960s and cardioprotective benefits of the herb were cited in 1975.6 Recent phytochemical and pharmacologic investigations of the aerial and root portions of the plant have uncovered constituents exhibiting anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and leukotriene-inhibiting properties.2

CHEMISTRY

In 2006, Schwaiger et al. identified and measured the major phenolic constituents of edelweiss. They compared retention times, ultraviolet (UV) and mass spectra of nearly all separated constituents to commercially available reference compounds or those isolated from the plant using column chromatography. Among the constituent compounds of edelweiss were found several known polyphenolic antioxidants, including quercetin-3-O-β-D-glucoside, luteo-lin-7-O-β-D-glucoside, luteolin-3’-O-β-D-glucoside, lute-olin-4’-O-β-D-glucoside, apigenin-7-O-β-D-glucoside, 6-hydroxy-luteolin-7-O...

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